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Vakka-Suomi countryside is the west coast of Finland Proper, north of the Archipelago Sea and Turku.

Understand[edit]

View from Ahtsaari in Lemu

The area consists of several former or current municipalities: Askainen (Swedish: Villnäs), Lemu (Lemo), Lokalahti (Lokalax), Mietoinen (Mietois), Mynämäki (Virmo), Pyhäranta, Taivassalo (Tövsala) and Vehmaa (Vemo). Not all the area described here is part of the Vakka-Suomi region proper.

The name Vakka-Suomi originates from the 19th century, when a significant export of the region was vakkas, lightweight containers made out of wood.

Most of the area is coastal, with fishing and seafaring traditions, and the area includes significant archipelagos, partly counted as part of the Archipelago Sea, but parts are normal inland agricultural countryside.

The main town in the area is 1 Uusikaupunki (15,000 inhabitants), founded 1617 as the twelfth town in Finland. It has a nice wooden old town, seafaring traditions and a car factory. There are cruises to a few lighthouses in the archipelago. North of Uusikaupunki is 1 Pyhäranta. 2 Pyhämaa off Pyhäranta, 3 Kalanti to the east of Uusikaupunki and 4 Lokalahti to the south of Uusikaupunki nowadays belong to the town. In the inland beyond Kalanti is the other town of the area: 2 Laitila (8,000 inhabitants; regarded town since 1986).

South of Uusikaupunki are 5 Kustavi, entirely in the archipelago, but with most main islands connected by bridges, 6 Taivassalo, also with much archipelago, and 7 Vehmaa (with main village Vinkkilä), reaching to the sea only at the bay Mynälahti, but with many lakes. South of Laitila is 8 Mynämäki with 9 Karjala TL in the inland and 10 Mietoinen by Mynälahti, and 11 Askainen and 12 Lemu, now both part of Masku, both with some inner archipelago.

The area borders Satakunta to the north, the inland of Finland Proper to the east, Greater Turku including Raisio, Naantali proper and the Turku countryside to the south-east, the Archipelago Sea to the south, Åland to the south-west and the Bothnian Sea to the west.

Tourist information[edit]

Get in and around[edit]

Map of Vakka-Suomi countryside

Road in Askainen

Turku, 20 km south-east from Lemu, is one of Finland's main cities, with good connections by rail, road and ferry, and a minor airport. National road 8 (E8 through Finland and Norway) leads north-north-west from Turku, through the centres of Mynämäki and Laitila. Road 43 leads from the inland via Laitila and Kalanti to Uusikaupunki.

Road 192, Kustavintie, leads from Raisio (just north of Turku) via Lemu and Mietoinen around the Mynälahti bay to Taivassalo and Kustavi. Near the northern shore of Mynälahti, Y-tie (road 194) forks off to Vehmaa and Lokalahti. Road 196 leads along the coast from Taivassalo via Lokalahti to Uusikaupunki and Pyhäranta and finally to E8.

By bus[edit]

There are express coaches along the E8 and buses to Kustavi, Uusikaupunki and some other centres. For minor villages, don't rely on their being buses without checking. Timetables at Matkahuolto.

By train[edit]

Turku has connections from Tampere and Helsinki.

Regional traffic along the railway from Turku to Uusikaupunki has been planned, but as of 2021 it is used only for freight.

See[edit]

Louhisaari Manor in Askainen
Allotment croft in Vehmaa
  • 1 Louhisaari manor (Villnäs slott), Louhisaarentie 244 (in Askainen, via the church – many navigators suggest a route over the fields), +358 295-336-971, . 2021: 15 June–August Tu–Su, July daily 11:00–17:00; free guiding in English 15:00 W Sa, July also M. Manor from 1655 with English landscape garden. The property belonged to the mighty Fleming family 1450–1791 and to the Mannerheim family 1795–1903. Birthplace of Gustaf Mannerheim. Now a museum. €10/8/4 (museum card valid; children 7–17 years); private guiding for groups €35, to be reserved. Louhisaari Manor (Q1141721) on Wikidata Louhisaari manor on Wikipedia
  • Mynämäen kotiseutumuseo, +358 50-408-5798, . Mynämäki local history museum. Rectory hall from early 1900s, textile industry, Olavi Ahlgrenin art exhibition, and changing exhibitions.
  • 2 Tavastilan kotiseutumuseo, Tavastilantie 11 (Tavastila, Mietoinen), +358 40-554-1435. Local history museum in old farm. Main building from mid-19th century, used as school 1882–1954. 19th century windmill from Lokalahti. The exhibition touches the school system, handicraft, home economics and agriculture. Small herb garden. Maintained by the village association. €3.
  • 3 Vehmaa local history museum, Mynämäentie 157 (in the village Lahdinko). In summer Sa–Su 12:00–15:00, other times by agreement. Local history museum, including stone quarrying and stone work, and an allotment croft. See also the quarry trail Tummamäen luontopolku in Do. €2.

Churches[edit]

There are old churches in Askainen, Lemu, Lokalahti, Mietoinen, Mynämäki, Taivassalo and Vehmaa.

  • 4 Askaisten kirkko, Askaistentie 788 (at the start of the avenue to the Louhisaari manor). Built as manor church. Current shape from 1653, when the Fleming family resided at the manor, at the zenith of the Swedish Empire. By the church is a memorial for the "Mannerheim knights", decorated in World War II. Askainen Church (Q11853121) on Wikidata
  • 5 Karjalan kirkko, Karjalankyläntie 58. Wooden church in Gothic Revival style, built 1869. Local history museum in the yard (see above). Karjala Church (Q17381471) on Wikidata
  • 6 Lemun kirkko, Monnoistentie 18. Medieval stone church, probably built between 1460 and 1480. The 14th century stone chapel has been transformed into the sacarist. The crusifix and baptismal font are from the 13th-century wooden chapel preceding it. In the yard is a local history museum: Kemppien tupa. Lemu Church (Q5486535) on Wikidata
  • 7 Mietoisten kirkko, Kirkkotie 104. Services twice a month. Church built 1641–1643 by Henrik Klausson Fleming. Mietoinen Church (Q5410582) on Wikidata
  • 8 Pyhän Laurin kirkko, Kirkkokatu 3 (in Mynämäki). Third in size among medieval stone churches in Finland, probably built in the 1430s, when Magnus Tavast from Mynämäki was Bishop of Finland. Dedicated to Saint Lawrence. Mynämäki Church (Q11883683) on Wikidata
  • 9 Vehmaan kirkko, Kirkkotie 23 (in the parish village of Vehmaa, 2.5 km west from Vinkkilä). In summer and by agreement. Services year round Su 10:00. Medieval "gray stone" church.

Itineraries[edit]

Do[edit]

  • 1 Savikulma, Suorsalantie 40 (5 km north from Pyhe), +358 400-517-865, . Laajoki river by canoe or bike, the latter a 13.5 km route. B&B accommodation in flying tent for two or normal room (double, not in winter). Shared facilities. River beach, garden. Advance booking needed. Canoe: 1 hr including basic training €10, 6 hr €25, 1 day €35; bike €10.
  • Vehmaa DiscGolfPark, Seuralantie (Vehmaa; by the sports ground north of the church). Frisbee course in wooded terrain.
  • Summer theatre.
  • Masku kayaking route. Kayaking route off Lemu. The 30-km ring route consists of seven 2.5–7.7 km legs in the archipelago between Askainen, Lemu, Masku, Naantali and Merimasku. As sea kayaking this is a sheltered area, but still not suitable for beginners at fresh winds. The four 2.5–4.4 km eastern legs have their endpoint on the mainland, the northernmost of them (numbered 3) is at the Kuurnanpää beach (see below). The northern part of the route features bird wetlands, don't get too close in spring and summer.

Nature trails[edit]

  • Kolkanpolut. Hiking trails in Lemu: three routes connected by small roads, together some 20 km. The trails connects also to the hiking route network of Mietoinen. Reisvuori and Verainen each has a lean-to shelter with campfire site and dry toilet. Each of the routes features a lookout point. The Kuuvanvuori route goes through a nature reserve.
    • 2 Kuuvanvuori trail, Seijaistentie 219.
    • 3 Reisvuori trail (start at Lemu library).
    • 4 Verainen trail, Miiaistentie 167.
  • 5 Mietoistenlahti (2-km roads to the nature path from east of the Laajoki bridge in Pyhe and north of the Mynäjoki bridge at Mietoinen, both junctions at Kustavintie.). Bird sanctuary by the mouth of Laajoki. Bird watching towers.
  • 6 Otajärvi, Kodisjoentie 425 (signage from E8 in Ihode, Pyhäranta; 6 km along minor roads), +358 20-639-4620, . Lake with rich nesting birdlife. Unmanned visitor centre on-site. As of 2021 the birdwatching tower is in bad shape and should not be used. The visitor centre, its dry toilet and the observation platform nearby are accessible by wheelchair. Free.
  • 7 Oukkulanlahti, Kiuaskarintie 38 (take Monnoistentie to the south-west from the church in Lemu, information sign and parking at its extension, 3.2 km from the church). Bird wetland. Nature path to an observation tower (possibly removed for renewal as of 2021).
  • 8 Tummamäen luontopolku (by the village Lahdinko in Vehmaa), +358 40-809-8303, . Nature trail by stone querry (1.6 km). Lean-to shelter, campfire site, dry toilets. Guiding by agreement, otherwise free.
  • 9 Pamprinniemen luontopolku, Hauintie 259 (Ketteli, Pyhämaa). 24 hr daily, but in winter access sometimes less easy. 4-km Nature trail around the shores of the peninsula Pamprinniemi. Birdlife, seascapes, old spuce woods, old pines, posters on biblical themes. The area is on grounds of the congregation, but belongs to the Natura 2000 network (PDF map).

Beaches and sauna[edit]

  • Askainen
    • 10 Pikisaari, Pikisaarentie.
  • Lemu
    • 11 Kuurnanpää, Kaidantie 111 (from Lemu church Monnoistentie 2.85 km to south-west, turn left to Kaidantie, the beach is at the end of the road).
  • Vehmaa
    • 12 Himoisten rantasauna, Laituritie 27 (270 m south from Y-tie ca 8 km west from Vinkkilä), +358 40-747-5761. 24 hr daily; shared sauna 16 Jun–8 Aug W–Su 18:00–21:00, 13 Aug–30 Sep F–Sa 18:00–21:00. Sauna with beach. Maintained by the local village association. Free.
    • 13 Hietajärven rantasauna, Hietajärventie 34. 24 hr daily, shared sauna daily Jun–Aug 18:00–21:00, in winter Su 17:00–. Lakeside sauna with beach. Ice swimming in winter.

Events[edit]

  • Lukkari-Jukola (Jukolan viesti). 18–19 June 2022. Giant night relay orienteering event: 20,000 orienteers from 25 countries and 50,000 spectators expected. The men's Jukola is arranged for the 73rd, women's Venla 44th time. Locations vary, 2022 the races are in Mynämäki.

Buy[edit]

Grocery stores[edit]

Eat and drink[edit]

  • Mynämäki
    • 3 Jussin grilli, Lepistöntie 2 A (Mynämäki centre), +358 2 430-6123, . M–F 10:30–18:00 Sa–Su 12:00–18:00. "Speciality: ordinary grill fare". Lunch soup with salad and coffee: €7.50; sausages, burgers, burger meals etc. €1–14.
    • 4 Tuomaksen Tupa (Veraisen Leipomo), Valtakatu 2 (Mynämäki centre), +358 400-365-338, . M–F 5:30–18:00 Sa 08:00–16:00; lunch M–Sa 10:30–15:00; à la carte M–F 10:30–17:00, Sa 10:30–15:00. Bakery and restaurant/café Lunch M–F €9.70, Sa 10.70; à la carte €7–16.
  • Pyhämaa
    • 5 Kuppi ja tassi (Kotileipomo Taina Vuorio), Kettelintie 137 (1.4 km north of the village), +358 400-717-157, . June–mid Aug M–Sa 09:00–17:00, Su 12:00–17:00. Summer café, bakery and catering.
    • 6 Pyhämaan pirtti, Pyhämaanraitti 35 (by Pyhämaa village), +358 50-537-9860, . M–Th 11:00–16:00, F 11:00–17:00, Sa 11:00–16:00, Su 12:00–16:00; lunch M–Sa 11:00–14:00; buffet Su 12:00–15:00. Most dishes based on fish, some dishes from their own catch (at least the salmon probably from elsewhere). Best offer for vegetarians probably their cheese salad. In summer also pizzas and beef. Accommodation in the yard (see Sleep) Lunch M–F €10, Sa €12; Buffet Su €25; à la carte €10–20; take away salmon soup €10/L.

Sleep[edit]

Sunset behind Lokalahti archipelago

The sleeping options are mostly camping and cottages (most of which are unavailable in winter). There are a few B&B-like accommodations. Wild camping according to the right to access is possible, but look for larger woods, where you are unlikely to disturb passers-by, or use the designated places along hiking routes.

  • Kalanti
    • 1 Hiidentupa Bed and Breakfast, Levanteentie 36 (4.5 km from the parish village; signage from the Kallelantie junction on road 43 towards Laitila), +358 50-306-0871, . Kitchen and sauna available. €50+optional breakfast; linen €5/person.
  • Lemu
    • 2 Reisvuori shelter (eastern end of the Reisvuori hill). Lean-to shelter on the Reisvuori route. Free.
    • 3 Verainen shelter. Lean-to shelter on the Verainen route Free.
  • Mynämäki
  • Pyhämaa
    • 7 Lepola, Lintuluoto 42, +358 400-921-020. Room or caravan lot: €15.
    • 8 Pyhämaan pirtti (Pirtin kamari), Pyhämaanraitti 35 (in Pyhämaa village), +358 50-537-9860. Rooms and sauna building; apartment in the village centre. Meals at Pyhämaan pirtti across the yard by agreement.
  • Pyhäranta
    • 9 Pyhärannan Kievari & Camping, Suojalantie 9 (600 m from the Pyhäranta village), +358 50-590-6037, +358 2 823-1786, +358 500-122-142, . Check-out: 12:00. Camping and cottages. Beach. Rowing boat available, canoes for hire. Shared sauna daily 18:00–22:00 included. Café (which works as reception) with fast food, open daily June–August, lunch W Su; karaoke or events with live music in summer weekends. Cottages (2–8 persons) €40–80, cleaning €20/40; caravan lot €12/10 +€4/2 per person, electricity €4; tent €10/5 per person, children <12 free.
  • Taivassalo
    • 10 Fallinranta, Vaarniementie 16 (west of Hakkeenpää, Taivassalo), +358 40-703-6605, . Check-in: Su 16.00, check-out: Su 13:00/15:00. Cottages by the sea and accommodation in an old farmhouse. Running water and electricity. The farmhouse has four rooms, kitchen/living room and wood-fired sauna. Linen and breakfast ingredients included in a farmhouse stay, to be booked in advance (exclusive use). The cottages are in summer available only for whole weeks. Rowing boat and kayak or canoe included with some cottages. Small motorboats for hire (20 Hp outboard engine), to be kept at the shore of the cottage or in Hakkeenpää. The farmhouse: €60+€60/double room, extra child bed €20; cottages €750–1200/week, linen +€20/set, pet +€40/week.
  • Uusikaupunki
    • 11 Ihala Camping, Lepäistentie 825 (Lepäinen off Uusikaupunki; some 4.5 km north from the centre by Hiuntie, then 8.25 km by Lepäistentie), +358 50-464-6800, . Camping area by the shore. Cottages (for four) and rooms (for four or eight). Pets allowed in some of the cottages and rooms. Wood-fired self-service sauna, shared sauna (1 hr/sex) in Saturdays. Caravan May–Sep €20+€4.5/1.5 per person (children 0–17), off season €25; tent €14+€4.5/1.5; cottages €80; rooms 4 persons €65, 8 persons €80; Midsummer more expensive; mooring included in the prices; linen €8/person, towel €3; sauna €20/hr, shared sauna free.
    • 12 Pirkholma, Pirkholmantie 137 (Iso Pirkholma off Uusikaupunki; some 4.5 km north from the centre by Hiuntie, then 6.75 km by Lepäistentie, then 1.4 km by Pirkholmantie), +358 44-356-7233 (calls), +358 44-313-8804 (SMS), . Check-in: M Th F 14:00, check-out: Su 12:00. Seaside cottages (½–1 km from the "reception"), 2+2 persons (one for 2+4). Electricity, running water, stove, oven, tableware, indoor toilet, shower, wood-heated sauna, indoor fireplace, swimming jetty, linen included. Rowing boat in season. Pets welcome. €390–920/week (old cottage in spring/autumn–new cottage in Midsummer); off season weekend €290–340.
    • 13 Rairanta, Vanhakartanontie 216 (8 km south by road; signage from Lokalahdentie), +358 2 841-7400 (landline), +358 500-825-899 (mobile), . Caravan camping, open year round. Kiosk. Child friendly beach. Rowing boats. Wi-Fi. €30/caravan.
  • Vehmaa
    • Kesäniemi, Riihivainiontie (signage from Kustavintie, from the Vilumarket and St1 fule station 700 m east of the sound Vehmaansalmi), +358 500-820-973, +358 2 433-3462. 1 Jun–31 Aug, off season in weekends. Camping site. Caravan €30; tent €25 (max 4 persons); harbour fee €25 (max 4 persons); rented caravan €60; laundry €5.
    • Lahtivuo, +358 400-224-793, . Rooms with hostel standard. Cottages for longer stays.

Connect[edit]

  • 10 Mynämäen kirjasto, Keskuskatu 13, +358 44-783-7257, . M–Th 12:00–19:00, F 10:00–16:00 Sa 10:00–14:00. Library. Public computers and Wi-Fi. Bike to borrow (leave passport as deposit), to be return at latest 15 min before the library closes.
  • 11 Vehmaan kirjasto, Vinkkiläntie 17 (in Vinkkilä), +358 44-433-2160, . M W–F 07:00–19:00 Tu 07:00–12:00 Sa–Su 07:00–18:00. Library and tourist information. Wi-Fi. PCs, ipads; scanner, printer etc. Changing exhibitions (mostly local artists).

Go next[edit]

  • Bothnian Sea National Park – outer archipelago with lighthouse islands, birdlife and with some luck also seals; tours from Kustavi, Uusikaupunki and towns farther north.
Routes through Vakka-Suomi countryside
PoriLaitila  N Tabliczka E8.svg S  Inland of Finland Proper (Nousiainen, Masku) → Turku


This rural area travel guide to Vakka-Suomi countryside is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.